U.S. Relations With Bolivia

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
November 19, 2015

More information about Bolivia is available on the Bolivia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Bolivia in 1849 following its independence from Spain. While economic growth has been positive throughout the last decade Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Much of the population lives in poverty and the country faces serious economic and social challenges. Bolivia is a producer of coca and cocaine, and its international obligation to control illegal narcotics is an issue in the bilateral relationship. In 2006, Bolivia inaugurated as president Evo Morales, a coca union leader who was critical of what he termed "neo-liberal" economic policies. Relations with the United States deteriorated as thez` Bolivian Government began to dismantle vital elements of the relationship. In 2008, the government expelled the U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from the country. His government expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2013. Morales was elected to a third term in October 2014. His government is pursuing a constitutional amendment through a February 2016 referendum to allow Morales to run for a fourth term in 2019. 

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is one of Bolivia's top trade partners. U.S. exports to Bolivia include machinery, vehicles, aircraft, optical and medical instruments, and agricultural products. U.S. imports from Bolivia include silver and jewelry, crude oil, tin, Brazil nuts, and other agricultural products. Bolivia is generally open to foreign direct investment, but legal uncertainties include regulatory changes called for in the 2009 Bolivian constitution. The government nationalized numerous companies that were privatized in the 1990s. As of June 2012, the Bolivian Government terminated the U.S.-Bolivia bilateral investment treaty that entered into force in 2001, but the treaty will continue to apply for another 10 years to cover investments existing at the time of termination.

Bolivia's Membership in International Organizations

Bolivia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

There has not been a U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia since September, 2008.  Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Bolivia maintains an embassy in the United States at 3014 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-483-4410).

More information about Bolivia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Bolivia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Bolivia Page
U.S. Embassy: Bolivia
USAID Bolivia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Bolivia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information